Simone Bodmer-Turner

Occupation/Business/Creative Outlet: Ceramic sculptor

Starsign: Capricorn, but part of being a Capricorn, apparently, is that I'm an astrology skeptic.

Favourite Number: 4

First thing you did this morning? Put on the percolator, stretched while it was simmering, checked on the clematis we trellised last week in our backyard. I never ceases to amaze me that you can see changes even overnight.

What does 'wellness' mean to you? Surrounding myself with people who make me feel comfortable and the most myself, protecting my time and my energy by working only in my most creative, efficient hours and not overextending when I’m depleted, cooking for myself and my partner and our community of friends and family - this is as much emotional health as it is about what I’m putting in my body. Moving my body as much as possible, strength not perfection. Maintaining perspective of how lucky I am to be a walking breathing seeing touching human who gets to spend their days doing work that fills me up and challenges me.

Products found in your shower/by your bath? I rely on Kristina Holey and Marie Veronique’s line or facial products - toner, probiotic spray, serums, and daily tinted sunscreen. Aesop for body oil and deodorant. Saipua for soap - my first foray into ceramics full time was a residency with this florist whose mom still makes every soap by hand with the best, simplest ingredients and scents.

Three things that can always be found in your kitchen cupboard? Fennel tea, marcona almonds, good loaf of sourdough

Favourite kitchen utensil? The collection of knives I’ve been accumulating from the flea market in Japan. My friend there, a neighbor farmer and incredible chef and hunter sharpened them for me over the course of several hours while he taught me how to use a wet stone.

Favourite Travel destination? Can never choose one. Have been building communities, routines, places to work with clay, and an intimacy with the landscape in Oaxaca, MX, and the countryside of Japan. Paris, always. Next long trip will south of Italy/ Sicily/ Sardinia.

Currently reading? Jean Arp biography, essays in The Ceramics Reader, and about ten years to late to Botany of Desire by Michael Pollan.

Currently browsing (.com)? Actively trying to not browse. Who’s got the time.

Favourite breakfast food? I’ve recently gotten into the habit of making myself a green and berry smoothie every morning to get all the things in that my naturopath is recommending to take with my tinctures and supplements (working on a skin thing, possibly immune system or environmental chemical related). I usually can’t eat first thing in the morning, but this has actually turned into a really good foundation for my day. When I’m upstate or anywhere in the mountains, a thick piece of fresh bread with butter, creamed honey, and sea salt.

Three items in your make up bag? Sunscreen, clear eyebrow gel (I have quite unruly brows), luminizer.

An album/mix that calms your nervous system? Kraja, this Swedish female group I found in this little Japanese cafe run by this luminescent woman. The music reminds me very much of the space and her calming magnetic energy.

An album/mix that hypes you up? 80s and 90s Disco funk, Grace Jones to name one specific. I love love to dance.

Most commonly used apps on your phone? Instagram, unfortunately, but it's a big part of my business and I enjoy seeing the wild things people are creating and using it as a portfolio. Audible - there’s a lot of time to listen when I’m working with my hands.

Favourite form of movement/exercise? I go to movement classes for non-dancers in the city, I walk or bike everywhere I go, run in Forte Greene Park, and do vinyasa yoga when I’m being good.

One thing you'd like to incorporate into your day/week that you're currently yet to? 10 minutes of meditation, and one full article or chapter in my book before beginning my day.

Nighttime rituals? Doing the dishes with a cup of fennel tea. I like going to bed with a clean house.

I feel most creatively fulfilled when... I work without sketching and make something with no agenda that surprises me.

I'm currently working on... My first piece of ceramic furniture. Almost finished, will be interesting to see how it functions or does not.

This time last year, I wish I knew... That only I have control over my stress levels. We are all imperfect humans behind businesses and creative practices, and there’s only so much one person can do. I’ve been teaching myself how to set expectations so that I am protecting my time and stress level. At the beginning you say yes to everything, and I’ve learned to choose the work I take on more selectively, set deadlines that leave room for error, even if it is not the market standard. If people really want something they will wait, if they want something immediately, that’s not the work that I’m in.

I'm grateful for... My partner and the rock that he is for me. My community of engaged, creative, quick-witted, ambitious, thoughtful and communicative friends, family, and collaborators. My medium that offers a lifetime worth of inquiry, discovery, challenge, and - when I am able to take it in for a moment - joy. Models of self-love for every body, color, age and identity. Models of alternative successes stories and professional paths. You have all given me hope and a chance for something different.

Photographed by Hans Neumann